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Event to celebrate Lahaina’s rich history and Hawaiian culture

By Staff | Aug 22, 2013

Signs on the Old Lahaina Courthouse lanai now reveal the important history of the area. New National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) exhibits in the courthouse will be dedicated during “Celebrate Historic Lahaina” on Friday.

LAHAINA – Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF) will present “Celebrate Historic Lahaina” on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23-24. These events that mark the completion of the IMAGINE community planning process for the Lahaina Harbor area and commemorate the opening of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) exhibits in the Old Lahaina Courthouse are free and open to the public.

On Friday, Aug. 23, from 3 to 4 p.m., author Katherine Kama’ema’e Smith will present a copy of “The Fleming Journals: West Maui Land Records and Family History 1905-1910” to Lahaina Public Library. Smith will talk story about the historical context and how these journals may be used to find West Maui kuleana lands and family histories.

The grand opening of the NOAA exhibits and reopening of the Lahaina Heritage Museum will take place in the Old Lahaina Courthouse on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. A reception, speeches and blessing ceremony by Kekoa Yap will be followed by tours of the new exhibits and interactive displays on both floors of the courthouse.

The Lahaina Heritage Museum and NOAA exhibits are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

“The NOAA exhibits were an ambitious project that was two years in the making,” stated Theo Morrison, LRF executive director.

A display in the Old Lahaina Courthouse is dedicated to the Plantation Era.

“We are thrilled to open the doors and let the public enjoy this exciting, educational display. Lahaina Restoration Foundation is very appreciative of the financial support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the many artifacts and family heirlooms that the community has loaned us for display.”

On Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public can enjoy a variety of activities between the Old Lahaina Courthouse, Banyan Tree Park, Lahaina Harborfront and Lahaina Library Park.

Under Lahaina’s landmark Banyan Tree, an arts and crafts fair will be held along with Hawaiian musical entertainment presented by LahainaTown Action Committee and Lahaina Arts Society. Enjoy public art-in-action projects, including a marine mural with Lahaina Arts Association and painting a life-size whale’s tail.

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary staff will present a keiki fishing game and sustainable fishing displays and information.

The West Maui Watershed Ridge-to-Reef Relay Race will take place on the courthouse lawn accompanied by photos and displays from the Coral Reef Alliance/Makai Watch.

The Hawaii Sanctuary Classic Fishing Contest will be coordinated by Lahaina Yacht Club and the sanctuary. Entry is free to all kids; poles, lines, hooks and buckets will be provided. Contest registration will be held at the loading dock across from Pioneer Inn. Participants will receive a coupon for a free shave ice at Banyan Treats. Keiki can also win prizes by entering the fishing photo competition that takes place through the summer.

The third annual Grom Magazine Lahaina Surf Bash, with young surfers on the waves in the harbor surfbreak, will take place all day. Boys and girls ages 17 years and younger are eligible.

On the ocean in front of Lahaina Library, Lahaina Yacht Club will host its Junior Sailing Program with nine-foot sailboats racing in nearby waters. LYC will also give free, 45-minute sails in its 30-foot sailboat. Register at the loading dock across from Pioneer Inn between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Free walking tours of Lahaina’s historic and cultural sites will be offered by Maui Nei Native Expeditions starting at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sign up at the Friends of Moku’ula display booth on the Lahaina Library’s makai lawn.

Throughout the day, old Hawaiian games will be held on the Lahaina Library’s mauka lawn, featuring ‘ulu maika, konane, pahe’e and more.

The 42-foot, double-hulled sailing canoe Mo’olele will be moored near the library lawn. Members of Hui O Wa’a Kaulua will show images of the soon-to-be-completed Mo’okiha O Pi’ilani sailing canoe and offer information on voyaging.

Hawaiian cultural demonstrations will take place around Lahaina Library, featuring hands-on kapa making, poi pounding and kalo planting. Help plant kalo in the new patch at noon. Traditional Hawaiian fishing techniques will also be demonstrated.

A tasting booth next to Lahaina Library will offer samples of traditional Hawaiian foods, such as inamona, opihi, he’e, ahi/aku poke, ele’ele, kulolo, haupia, ‘ulu and ‘uala served on a ti leaf.

Charlie Nolan, a woodworker from the former International Festival of Canoes in Lahaina, will be carving a traditional Hawaiian canoe near the Lahaina Library.

The Wharf Cinema Center will host free screenings of Hawaiian cultural videos in its conference room on the lower level. The 20-minute videos are produced by Na Maka O Ka ‘Aina. At 3 p.m., a fishing specialist from NOAA Fisheries will present on talk on best practices for fishing.

On display will be Duke Kahanamoku’s circa 1910 surfboard from Bailey House Museum by the sailing canoe at the ocean’s edge, and a Plantation Era tin boat made from roofing pieces by Sammy Kadotani, the unofficial Mayor of Lahaina, at the corner of Front Street and Banyan Tree Park.

In Pioneer Inn’s Snug Harbor between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., The Story of Hawaii exhibit will be on display, featuring vintage maps, prints and documents from Hawaii’s early explorers to the Monarchy period through the Territorial days, World War II era and Statehood. A talk story will be given by Bryant Neal, co-curator of the Story of Hawai’i Museum.

Lahaina Harborfront improvements from the IMAGINE Project that will be temporarily actualized during the event are: five new interpretive signs displayed around Lahaina Library, building a raised bed lo’i kalo (taro patch) on the library lawn, installing a planter in the road in front of Pioneer Inn and the Lahaina Harbor loading dock, and removing parking stalls on Hotel Street for walking alongside Banyan Tree Park.

The purpose behind the “Celebrate Historic Lahaina” events is to bring the community back to the harbor area and bring awareness to its many Hawaiian cultural sites.

“Celebrate Historic Lahaina” is produced by Lahaina Restoration Foundation and sponsored by the County of Maui Department of Planning, with support and participation by many businesses and community groups.

For more information, call the LRF office at 661-3262 or visit www.LahainaRestoration.org.